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Yifan Hou vs Lufei Ruan
Chinese Championship (2006), Wuxi CHN, rd 5, Jun-29
Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Berlin Wall J. Rogers Line (C67)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: <TheaN> I think that the "obviousness" of a move is relative to what else is even more obvious. The immediate fork Nxe6+ (which seems to win straightforwardly) is so obvious that the more indirect move Rxe8 may easily be overlooked. Except that we know this is a puzzle and therefore MUST have a solution that is something different from the most obvious move. In that case I may have to admit that 42 Rxe8 is indeed the obvious try--and that would explain how I managed to see it!

41 Kh2 sure is a nice move. Is Yifan Hou the 13-year old girl? She is something. Today's prodigies (I am thinking of Carlsen too) play with such mature style! Nigel Short has nothing to be ashamed of in losing to her at Corus 2008, in spite of what was said by some commentators at the time.

Mar-11-08  Magic Castle: <whiteshark><ahmadov>White is a pawn up. If I were black I will aim to exchange my black bishop for the knight and go for an opposite colored bishops draw. Swapping black bishops is suicidal. Given the position black white bishop is no match to the Knight. But has black got a choice? This is for your study and comments guys.
Mar-11-08  sombreronegro: 42 Rxe8 Rxe8 43 f7

No good moves for black that I can see.

Mar-11-08  whiteshark: <Magic Castle> I think I don't understand your comment completely. Are you referring to the position after <39.Ng5>

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suggesting black should't have played <39...Bd6> ?

Mar-11-08  YouRang: "Easy", as advertised. :-)

The knight fork, the pawn push, the exchange sac, all hanging there like ripe plums.

Mar-11-08  sombreronegro: I think this is a great demonstration of kingside pawn majority that is essentially an end game by move 8. Black is smothered by move 14. On move 25 e,f and g pawns all occupy the 5 rank all defended by a piece. Its just driving a steam roller after that.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A little deja-vu in this one. Obviously white cannot fork immediately at move 42-as his own rook is in danger. If white could reproduce the king and rook position as it is at 42,the fork will be in force. After the text move,the king doesn't have the chance to move and the rook is forced to return at f8-either immediately or after :43...♖(abcd or h8) 44 f8=♕ ♖xf8 45 ♘xe6+

Black hung up his spurs-

Premium Chessgames Member
  Jimfromprovidence: 32...Bc6 would have been much better for black than 32...Rf8.

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Then 33 exf7 Bf4+ 34 Kg1 Rf8 35 Nf2 Bd5 allows black to be in position to capture the pawn at f7 and eventually equalize materially.

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Premium Chessgames Member
  Bobsterman3000: So, is 12...a5 the losing move?

It seems pretty weak considering that the black kingside was in a state of totally undeveloped disrepair.

White almost immediately moves to establish the mini-Alterman wall of e5, f5, g5. Black's bishops are completely cut off and have no scope or long-range effectiveness, especially after black repeatedly "refuses" to put the light-squared bishop on the natural square c6...

Mar-11-08  JG27Pyth: <Kevin86: Obviously white cannot fork immediately at move 42-as his own rook is in danger.>

Actually, as someone has already pointed out, it seems an immediate Nxe6 still wins. White's extra pawn (after Nxe6) and the way the f pawn, which queens on a dark square, is working against a light square bishop, is too much for black. At least, that's how it looked when I analyzed it with Fritz.

The text is better, for sure, but Nxe6 is playable.

Mar-11-08  D.Observer: 42. Rxe8 Rxe8 43. f7 Rf8 44. Ne6+ K<any> 45. Nxf8 and white is winning.
Mar-11-08  Funicular: I saw Nxe6 but didn't consider it :P as i thought that there should be something better. Shortly after i saw Rxe8. To my suprise, black didn't resign after that move. I usually do it upon facing these kinda sacs.

O/T: About yesterday; i thinkg it's not that it was difficult to see, but rather that the combination didn't lead to a clear, overwhelming advantage. Most of us would have won it in that position, since mondays usually lead to a checkmate or winning a lot of material, but still, it's not a HUGE advantage. Hence the difficulty to see it. We were all looking for something quite decisive rather than a subtle positional superiority and a pawn advantage.

Mar-11-08  zb2cr: <Funicular>,

Re: yesterday's puzzle, you forget that Black also wins the exchange.

Mar-11-08  Samagonka: So far, so good..let's see Wednesday.
Mar-11-08  DarthStapler: Rxe8 Rxe8 f7 and the only move to prevent the pawn queening is Rf8 which looses to Nxe6+. Simple.
Mar-11-08  mikeddot: could this combination puzzle begin from move 39 ?
Mar-11-08  whitebeach: <Jimfromprovidence: 32...Bc6 would have been much better for black than 32...Rf8. Then 33 exf7 Bf4+ 34 Kg1 Rf8 35 Nf2 Bd5 allows black to be in position to capture the pawn at f7 and eventually equalize materially.>

What if after 32 . . . Bc6, instead of 33. exf7, white plays 33 Nd6+? If the black K moves, 34. Nxf7, so 33 . . . cxd6 34. Rxf7+ K any 35 Rg7 and although white is down a piece, how does black stop one of the pawns from queening?

Mar-12-08  malvar: To be perfectly honest, I only saw the puzzle for a few seconds and I thought that 42. Nxe6+ is sufficient to win. I still think it is, but t may also lead to a draw as previously mentioned Of course, the real answer ends things promptly. It's so hard sometimes to actually play the correct move from cheer instinct, even though everything inside points to that. Sometimes it's the correct move but, one goes on complicating things and missing the obvious.

So, to trust or not to trust as Hamlet would perhaps examine ... It's an interesting debate.

Mar-12-08  Magic Castle: <whiteshark> Yup.
Mar-12-08  whiteshark: <Magic Castle> After <39.Ng5> white is winning after

<<39...Kc6> 40.Rc8+ Kb7 41.Rc7+ Ka6 42.Nxe6>,

<<39...Bg6> 40.Rb7+ Ke8 41.Kf3 Bh5+ 42.Kf4 Bg6 43.c3> and

<<39...Bh5> 40.Rb7+ Ke8 41.Bd4 Bd6 42.Nxe6>

Mar-12-08  Whitehat1963: Does 41. Rxb6+ win also, only more slowly?
Mar-12-08  whiteshark: <Whitehat1963: <Does 41. Rxb6+ win also, only more slowly?>> After 41...Ke5 you can't save your trump ♙f6. So if there is a win with a c♙ advance it will last long (me guessing). :D
Mar-13-08  minasina: Yifan Hou - Ruan Lufei, Chinese Championships 2006

click for larger view

24 ply Analysis by Deep Fritz 10:

1. (4.09): 42.Rxe8 Rxe8 43.f7 Rh8 44.Nxe6+ Kd6 45.f8Q+ Rxf8 46.Nxf8 Kc5 47.Nd7+ Kxc4 48.Nxb6+ Kc3 49.Kg2 Kxc2 50.Kf3 Kc3 51.Kg4 Kd4 52.Kxh4

2. (2.84): 42.Ra8 Rxf6 43.Rxe8 Rf2+ 44.Kg1 Rxc2 45.Re7+ Kd6 46.Rxe6+ Kc5 47.Ne4+ Kd4 48.Nd6 Kc5 49.Rf6 Re2 50.Nc8 Re3 51.Kg2 Kxc4 52.Nxb6+

3. (2.73): 42.Nxe6+ Kxb8 43.Nxf8 Kc7 44.Kg2 Bh5 45.Ne6+ Kd6 46.Ng5 Bg6 47.c3 Kc5 48.f7 Bxf7 49.Nxf7 Kxc4 50.Kf3

4. (1.59): 42.Rd8 Kxd8 43.Nxe6+ Kd7 44.Nxf8+ Kd6 45.Kg2 Ke5 46.Nd7+ Ke6 47.Nxb6 Kxf6 48.Kf3 Kf5 49.c3 Bh5+ 50.Ke3 Ke5 51.c5

5. (1.42): 42.Nh7 Rf7 43.Rxe8 Rxh7 44.Rxe6 Rh5 45.Kg1 Rf5 46.Kg2 Rf4 47.c3 Rf5 48.Ree4 Rxf6

6. (-4.00): 42.f7 Kxb8 43.fxe8Q+ Rxe8

Mar-13-08  minasina: After <42.Nxe6+ Kxb8 43.Nxf8 >

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24 ply Analysis by Deep Fritz 10:

1. (2.75): 43...Kc8 44.Kg2 Bh5 45.Ne6 Kd7 46.Ng5 Be2 47.Kf2 Bxc4 48.Kf3 Bf1 49.c3 Bc4 50.Kg4 Be2+ 51.Kxh4 b5

2. (2.76): 43...Kc7 44.Kg2 Bh5 45.Kf2 Kd6 46.Ke3 Bd1 47.Ng6 Ke6 48.Kd2 Kxf6 49.Kxd1 Kxg6 50.Ke2 Kf5

3. (3.16): 43...Bh5 44.Ne6 Kc8 45.Nf4 Bf7 46.Kg2 Bxc4 47.Kf3 Kd7 48.Kg4 Ba2 49.Kxh4 Bb1 50.c3 Ke8 51.Kg5

4. (3.95): 43...Kb7 44.Nd7 Kc6 45.Ne5+ Kc5 46.Kg2 Bh5 47.f7 Bxf7 48.Nxf7 Kxc4 49.Nd6+ Kc3 50.Kf3 Kxc2 51.Kg4 Kd3

5. (5.02): 43...Bf7 44.Nd7+ Kc7 45.Ne5 Be6 46.f7 Bxf7 47.Nxf7 Kc6 48.Ne5+ Kc5 49.Kg2 Kd4 50.Nf3+ Kxc4 51.Nxh4 Kd5 52.Nf5 Ke6

Mar-13-08  minasina: After <41. Rxb6+ > a win is not sure, if 41...Ke5. [There's an opinion that engine evalutions below ± (2.00) are not necessarily enough in the end game.]

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20 ply Analysis by Deep Fritz 10:

1. ± (1.29): 41...Ke5 42.Kf3 Rxf6+ 43.Ke3 Rg6 44.Nf3+ Kf6 45.c5 Rg2 46.Nd4 Rg3+ 47.Kd2 Rxh3

2. (4.15): 41...Bc6+ 42.Kh2 Rxf6 43.Ne4+ Kc7 44.Rxc6+ Kxc6 45.Nxf6 Kc5 46.Ne4+ Kxc4 47.Kg2 e5 48.Kf3

3. (4.70): 41...Kd7 42.Rxe6 Bh5 43.c5 Rg8 44.Re7+ Kc6 45.Rg7 Rf8 46.f7 Kb5

4. (4.87): 41...Kc5 42.Nxe6+ Kxb6 43.Nxf8 Kc5 44.Kf3 Kxc4 45.Kg4 Kc5 46.Kxh4 Kd4

5. (4.87): 41...Kc7 42.Nxe6+ Kxb6 43.Nxf8 Kc5 44.Kf3 Kxc4 45.Kg4 Kc5 46.Kxh4 Kd4

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